Financial Health 101: Planning for financial wellness

Financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. This adage is especially true when it comes to planning for your future financial wellbeing. We’ve gone over how to better manage your spending, savings, and debt so now it’s time to bring all that hard work together and begin planning for the future. It can be easy to get caught up in the everyday grind of life and forget to make the right moves to set up your future-self for success. But with a few smart decisions (the earlier the better!) you can ensure that all your hard work will pay off when you’re ready to sail off into the sunset.

 

Plan for financial success

Again with the planning?? We know, it’s a drum we continue to beat but it’s because it works! Knowing where you want to be when you retire will help you better determine what you need to do now to get there. Want to retire at 65 and travel abroad to yoga retreats twice a year? First of all, that sounds awesome, and secondly knowing that will help determine how much you should be saving (and how) currently in order to get there. Maybe your goals are more short-term like buying a house or setting up a college fund for your kids. Either way, tangible goals that help inspire you will go a long way towards making the work you do now more manageable as you move forward.

 

Take advantage of employee perks

Don’t get us wrong, discounts on gym memberships and free lunches are awesome but the employee perks that can really pay off are when it comes to retirement accounts. Most employers today offer their employees options for creating and maintaining retirement accounts. Often they come in the form of a 401K or an IRA account. While there are differences between the two the main benefit is the same which is that they allow you to save money for the future without having to pay taxes on it! There’s a limit to how much you’re allowed to contribute each year which is why it’s also a good idea to figure out if your company offers contribution matching. Some employers will match your contributions (again, up to a certain amount) throughout the year. It’s an incredible way to max out your retirement savings each year and get you even closer to whatever goals you have laid out for yourself.

 

Invest in your financial wellness

Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who was able to ride the DogeCoin rocket all the way to the moon… but for the rest of us a sound investment strategy with manageable risk makes a bit more sense. Investing in stocks, bonds, real estate, and cryptocurrencies is inherently risky which is why proper planning is a great place to start in order to properly develop an investment gameplan. Depending on how comfortable you are with risk, finding a broker is a great place to start if you decide you want to get into the investment game. Online brokerage firms are a great option as well if you’re looking to dip your toe into the market and prefer a more DIY method. Regardless of what you choose to do.

 

Insure your security

Things happen. Life is a sport and there will always be some bumps and bruises along the way. Normally, we’re able to hop back up and dust ourselves off but sometimes the financial ramifications of those speed bumps can be debilitating. An unforeseen medical bill, a large car repair, or property damage from a natural disaster are all fairly rare occurrences that can have severe financial impact if you aren’t properly protected. Insurance and financial safety nets are a great way to pad yourself from the risks of life and can be a relatively low-cost way to avoid high-cost outcomes. Thanks to a host of insurance providers out there today, shopping around for a great rate has become much easier and often you’re able to customize policies to fit your unique lifestyle. 

 

Planning for the future might not be the most exciting thing to do on a school night but it’s the best way to ensure you can live the life you’re working towards building. Creating specific and tangible goals will help influence the game plan you decide to put into play. Getting advice from a financial advisor can be helpful but no one will ever truly know your financial situation better than you do. So set a date to go over all the things that are important to you and start making all your hard work today payoff for tomorrow!


A health and wellness credit card?

There are a lot of credit cards out there promising all sorts of rewards and benefits. Some are focused on travel discounts and vouchers while others provide cash back. Even though there are plenty of different cards out there one thing makes them all the same and that’s the idea that you get rewards based on what you purchase. What if that reward structure looked different? What if you had more influence over how you earned your rewards? At Paceline, we asked ourselves these same questions and have been working on something that we think could change the way you earn and use credit card rewards forever.

 

Fintech meets fitness tech

Imagine getting cash back on fitness apparel the more you move. What if you could get points on shopping for healthy foods after going for a hike? Thanks to wearables and the Paceline app, these types of perks and benefits are possible. We’re creating a fitness-inspired credit card that works to reward you for the healthy activities you already do as well as motivates you to continue to stay healthy.

 

Financial fitness

We know how hard Pacers work to stay fit and healthy and we think that commitment should be rewarded. Your dedication to health and wellness in the gym or on the trail should be rewarded in your wallet as well. That’s why we’ve been working so hard to develop a health and wellness credit card that can help you take advantage of your active lifestyle. We think your financial fitness should be just as important as your physical and mental fitness

 

It’s an exciting time here at Paceline as we work towards creating this truly special product. We’ve designed this new credit card with you in mind and can’t wait to share all the details with you. In the meantime, if you’re interested in what we’re cooking up, sign up for the waiting list below to ensure you’re up to date on all the latest news as it becomes available. Until then, keep earning those streaks!

 

Get on the waitlist


Will Reed Top 50 Seed-Stage Company

We’re thrilled to announce that we were selected as one of the Top 50 Seed-Stage Companies to work at in 2021! Chosen from over 630 applicants, Paceline was selected based on the mission, vision, and approach to culture we’ve placed at the foundation of our growth. It’s an exciting and humbling honor and further proof that what motivates us at Paceline is resonating with the real world. 

 

If being part of something special with a focus on culture and mission sounds like a place you’d like to work, check out our careers page today to see if there’s a fit. Thank you Pitchbook and Will Reed and be sure to tap through below to check out the rest of the list!

 

SEE THE TOP 50

 

About Will Reed

Will Reed is the only executive search firm built exclusively for early-stage founders. Founded in 2015, the firm started by scaling later-stage tech giants like AppDynamics, MongoDB, and Qualtrics. Today, they recruit go-to-market leaders for Seed thru Series B companies backed by leading venture capital firms like a16z, First Round Capital, GGV, Redpoint Ventures, and Sequoia. Will Reed believes early-stage founders are responsible for shaping the future, so they’ve developed a new kind of recruiting playbook, rooted in Talent Infrastructure™, which allows small B2B and B2C tech companies to compete against the giants for top talent. 


Financial Health 101: Dealing with debt

Hello again, class! I must say, I’m surprised to see so many of you here given today’s subject matter. Typically, this is the lesson that causes the most anxiety, the most dread, and sometimes, the most tears. We’ll be talking today of course about debt. To a lot of people, debt is a truly scary notion and can represent one of the largest sources of stress in everyday life. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to help better manage debt as well as practices to stay out of it (and even leverage some of it to your advantage). So, resist the urge to run away with your hands over your ears and let’s get settled in for an enlightening and candid conversation about managing debt.

 

Get to know your debt

The first step in figuring out how best to tackle debt is to get a better idea of how much you owe and to whom you owe it. Debt can crop up in a number of different ways from obvious ones like student loans and credit cards to lesser-known varieties such as property liens and bills sent to collections. Knowing exactly how much you owe helps you tackle the issue more effectively with fewer surprises along the way. After getting an idea of the actual number you owe, determine who you carry debt with and what the payment schedules are. A quick way to get even further underwater is to miss payment due dates, so set some calendar reminders to make sure you don’t miss any of them.

 

 

Know your credit score

Credit scores can impact a lot of things in your life. If you’re trying to get a car loan, rent an apartment, add a cell phone plan, or finance anything, your credit score determines how expensive (or inexpensive) those endeavors can be. Knowing your credit score makes you an informed consumer and also arms you with the knowledge of what you need to do in order to raise it. Additionally, a credit report (which is free through a number of sites and services, these days) will provide you a list of all creditors you owe money to. Any bills or open bank accounts you may have forgotten about through the years will pop up giving you the chance to have a more complete picture of your credit situation. 

 

 

Improve your credit score

Now that you know what your credit score is and have a complete view of your bills and debt, it’s time to start working on getting your score up. No matter where you fall on the financial spectrum, increasing your credit score is always a good thing. The easiest way to start increasing your score is to ensure you pay at least the minimum balance on all your bills on time (this is where organizing your due dates is huge). From there, reducing the overall amount you owe across creditors makes a massive impact. This is where debt consolidation can make a lot of sense. There are quite a few services out there that specialize in consolidating debt which can help keep you organized and even potentially reduce the overall interest rate you pay. 

 

 

Better understand credit

Getting a good grasp on how credit works can be a great way to use it to your advantage. Carrying a credit card is a good way to help raise your credit score if you manage it properly. Start by placing everyday bills on a card that you know you’re able to pay off monthly. Not only will this get that credit score to start trending up, but you’ll also be able to utilize some of the many perks different cards offer (may we suggest signing up to learn more about a certain health and wellness credit card coming out soon??). The more you’re able to demonstrate to lenders that you can effectively manage and pay off debt, the higher your credit score will become which in turn leads to more attractive borrowing possibilities. Knowing how the game is played is half the battle!

 

 

That wasn’t too bad, was it? Look, we know debt can be a scary and overwhelming topic. Like almost everything related to financial health, creating a game plan is key. It can be easy to stick your head in the sand when it comes to dealing with debt but confronting it head-on will arm you with the type of knowledge you need to start becoming more intentional about your strategy. Armed with the proper information and some realistic goals, your financial health can dramatically improve how you deal with debt. Be sure to join us next week as we take a look at the different ways you can start to plan more effectively for your financial future.


Financial Health 101: Save for a rainy day (or year)

Has it been a week already? Time flies when you’re learning how to rethink your approach to a more sustainable financial future, right? So, last week we went over how to be more intentional about spending money. Intertwined within that lesson were some choice bits of wisdom around arguably one of the hardest aspects of financial wellness - saving. The bottom line is that saving money is hard. It’s hard because spending money can be so easy and gratifying at the same time. Saving money, on the other hand, can feel like a slog and certainly doesn’t give you that instant gratification we’ve all become accustomed to. This is precisely why changing the way we think of saving can have a massive impact on how well we’re able to do it. So, sharpen those pencils, make sure those calculator batteries have been replaced, and let’s jump into another installment of Financial Health 101 and learn about how we can start to uplevel our savings skills.

 

Hello budget, my old friend

So, you’re probably getting tired of hearing us talk about budgeting so much but it’s kinda one of the most important parts of any sound financial plan. We’ve already talked about how budgeting can help you get a better grasp on what you’re spending and how much you have left over each month after necessary expenses. What you should begin to think about now is how much you’re able to put aside in savings each month without it feeling like a burden. Would it be great to save 50% of your paycheck each month? Of course it would, but if you’re barely scraping by and surviving only on packaged ramen and refusing to use your heater in the middle of winter in order to do that you’ll be miserable. As with all things finance-related, balance is the key to any harmonious strategy. Find a number that feels right for you to put away each month that still allows you to enjoy yourself and not feel like you’re completely deprived of the things that are important to you.

 

 

Gooooooooooals

Saving is a lot like going to the gym. You can show up every day and hit a bunch of different machines and free weights but if you don’t have a tangible goal you’ll never see real results and waste your time. If your goal is to bulk up to The Rock levels of muscle mass, walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes isn’t going to help get you there. Saving money is the same. When you have a real goal in mind, putting money aside becomes infinitely more manageable. Are you trying to pay off your student loans in the next few years? Saving up to buy a new car? Trying to get your emergency fund to a more comfortable place? Knowing why you’re saving will help not only keep you motivated but also give you a better idea of what you need to be setting aside each month. Additionally, your savings goals can also help determine the best way to start saving your money. If you’re looking to maximize your retirement savings, accounts like 401Ks and IRAs are excellent long term savings options. If you’re just trying to put aside some money for a new computer or a vacation, then shopping around for a simple savings account with the highest savings percentage might be the best option. 

 

Automation domination

One awesome benefit of banking these days is that you can take care of almost everything directly from your smartphone. Use this to your advantage to set up automatic transfers directly into your savings account. Time the transfers with when you get paid and you’ll never have to lift a finger again as the savings start to build. An added benefit of this method is that once you set it up you’ll probably forget about it in a few days time. It starts to almost feel like a passive income stream finding its way into your savings account every month.

 

 

Death by 1000 subscriptions

We’ve mentioned it before but one of the best ways to start saving more money is to stop spending so much money. Monthly subscriptions are a huge drain on your income and it’s not difficult to figure out why. The allure of a service at only $9.99 a month sounds like nothing at first blush. The problem starts when you have 10-15 subscriptions you’re responsible for every month. Take a moment to take stock in what you’re subscribed to and determine which services are must-haves and which ones you can part ways with. 

 

Would you look at that, we’re already out of time! Another week, another chance for us all to get more intentional with the way we think about our own financial health and wellness. Saving money can certainly feel like one of the more difficult aspects of financial health but proper planning and taking advantage of some of our more modern creature comforts can help make it all seem a bit less daunting. That will do it for today’s lesson, everyone. See you next week when we tackle debt!


Financial Health 101: Hey, big spender!

Welcome back to our latest installment of Financial Health 101 where we’ll be talking about spending. Now, of all the financial health aspects we went over last time, spending money is probably the easiest one to do. New sneakers drop basically every week, there are organic juice bars literally inside the gym, and who doesn’t want to grab a few cocktails with some friends at the end of the week? The trouble is, it’s become too easy to spend money these days. Add to that the increasing number of monthly subscriptions on offer and it can be tough to stay on top of things. However, like most things related to sound financial habits, planning and a little extra work can go a long way. So, let’s start taking some notes.

 

 

It’s audit time

Before you break into a cold sweat at the mere utterance of the word, we’re here to remind you that just getting an idea of your monthly spending is a massive step in the right direction. Set aside some time to sit down at the end of the month and figure out where all your hard-earned cash is going. How much of your monthly income is going to essential bills like rent, utilities, and a cell phone? Figure out how much you’re spending on food - do you order all the time? Have you been brushing up on your home-chef skills since the pandemic? It’s important to know exactly how much is coming in and how much is going out so you can more accurately determine what your discretionary spending can be. Now back when a cup of coffee cost a dime and the Dodgers still played in Brooklyn, balancing your checkbook was how you kept tabs on your spending every month. Thankfully, we’ve advanced and there are a ton of awesome resources and apps out there that help you better track your spending so you don’t have to be a math genius to balance your budget.

 

Balance the budget

Speaking of balancing budgets (what a segway, huh?) it’s time to make one! While deciding to create a budget can seem like a daunting task, think of it as setting yourself up for future success. You wouldn’t go for a 10-mile run without at least planning what type of shoes to wear and a general idea of a route, would you? Creating a budget creates fiscal guidelines for you to adhere to that allow you to better achieve the goals you decide are important. When coupled with your initial audit, creating a budget will give you a more complete view of your financial health and help determine which goals are most realistic. It’s also a good time to decide which subscription services are absolutely necessary and which ones you can smash that unsubscribe button on.

 

Get some funny money 

While cash with jokes on it would be cool (maybe?) we’re talking about extra spending cash for the fun stuff you want to do. After you figure out what you take in each month and what you’re immediately spending on bills, it’s time to budget for the extras. While we’re going to get into a savings plan in more depth later, starting to think of some savings goals can be helpful here. Knowing you want to put away $200 a month in your savings account will help you better budget how much you’re able to allocate for extras. Let’s say you decide you’re comfortable spending $350 a month on going out with friends. If you’ve already reached your limit by week 3, maybe it’s time to start working on your at-home craft cocktail skills. The important thing to remember is setting limits and boundaries shouldn’t feel like handcuffs. Setting real and tangible money spending (and saving!) goals will help make your decisions and sacrifices feel like an investment in your future.

 

Unfollow the Jones’s

You work hard, you’re doing well, you’ve got some nice things but… that person on Instagram with 2 million followers just bought ANOTHER Ferrari?!? It can be easy to get sucked into the game of impressing those around you but it’s a dangerous one to play. Social media can make outrageously lavish lifestyles seem almost normal which can make living outside your means tempting. That’s why it’s important to remember your budget and goals, it helps keep you motivated and reminds you that the payoff will be worth the work. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something nice from time to time, it can be a great way to reward yourself for sticking to your budget or hitting one of your financial goals. 

 

 

Alright class, that’ll do it for our lesson today. I’m reminded of a Michael Scott quote that has always stuck with me, “I am running away from my responsibilities. And it feels good.” Don’t be like Michael. Unless of course you’ve done a phenomenal job at auditing and budgeting and running away from your responsibilities is well within your discretionary spending limits for the month😎 Do remember that the path to financial wellness is one of learning. There will be bumps along the way but the more you learn, the more you’ll gain. Until next week, enjoy the holiday weekend!


Let’s celebrate

We had a big week last week. After lots of hard work, we secured our Series A funding round. We know, we know – why should you care? While startup funding news is probably rarely front-page fodder or water cooler chit-chat, this is a big deal for us! Beyond the fact that it allows us to continue to grow and improve the Paceline experience for everyone, it’s a tangible reminder that you all support and believe in what we’re doing.

 

When our founder, Joel set out to create Paceline he did so with the vision that incentivizing people to lead healthier lives could change the world. 15 months later, you’ve all helped prove that it was more than just an idea - it’s a movement. Since beta testing began, Paceline users have logged over 20 million workouts, more than 600 million exercise minutes, and longer and longer streaks. You’ve taken full advantage of all that hard work and redeemed more than $1 million in rewards value from brand partners like Pandora, Hyperice, Thrive Market, and Echelon. 

 

We couldn’t have done any of it without this incredible community of active and passionate Pacers. So from all of us here at Paceline, thank you. This funding round will help us continue to grow and make the Paceline experience more immersive and rewarding for everyone. With the launch of the very first Paceline health and wellness credit card just around the corner, we have so many exciting things to look forward to in the coming months. 

 

While we’re thrilled to share this incredible news with you, we know our work is only just getting started. So raise a glass of your favorite beverage (or recovery shake) and take a moment to celebrate with us. 

 

If being part of a driven and passionate team dedicated to helping create a healthier society sounds like something you want to be a part of, let us know - we’re hiring! 

 

We can’t wait to continue this health and wellness journey with you all by our side.


Paceline Raises $29.5 Million in Series A Financing to Transform Traditional Financial Services Models

Health and wellness platform adds Acrew Capital and Mubadala Capital to guide platform expansion and support scale amidst growing consumer demand. 

SAN FRANCISCO - June 24, 2021- Paceline, the retail health and wellness platform that incentivizes consumers to live a healthy lifestyle, today announced the close of a $29.5 million Series A financing round. The round was led by Acrew Capital, with participation from Mubadala Capital along with existing investors.

Following rapid user growth over the last year, Paceline will use the capital to build out its team as the company expands their rewards program and further extends the rollout of a full embedded financial platform later this year. 

“Acrew believes in supporting a new breed of companies that are looking to rebuild financial services from the ground up to better serve humanity,” said Lauren Kolodny, Founding Partner at Acrew Capital. “Paceline has the opportunity to create a new category that encourages consumer wellness, both health and financial.”

Research suggests that the majority of chronic diseases could potentially be avoided through changing lifestyle factors. Paceline’s vision is to leverage retail health and wellness brands and financial services to become the ultimate payer of preventative health in society. With strong existing user growth and engagement, the next step towards this vision is the upcoming launch of a health and wellness rewards credit card, where cardholders will earn tailored, high value rewards for their physical activity in addition to their spending. Paceline aspires to position the card to make health and wellness more accessible to the masses, as travel reward products have done for travel over the last several decades.

“As part of our overarching mission to motivate people to take care of themselves, we’re reinventing traditional financial services models and re-orienting to an approach that works in favor of our customers,” said Joel Lieginger, CEO and founder of Paceline. “With this new round of funding and support from our investors, Paceline is well equipped to become the next-generation embedded finance platform that will provide real world benefits around health and wellness.”

Over the last fifteen months, Paceline has built a community of active individuals passionate about their wellness, motivated by the rewards, and invested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Paceline members have already logged over 20 million workouts, over 600 million exercise minutes, and increasingly longer streaks, with some early members maintaining 60+ weeks of consistent long-term activity. Since its beta launch last year, Paceline customers have earned more than 580 thousand rewards to more than 100 brand partners including Home Chef, Echelon,Hyperice, and Brownie Brittle, representing over $1.8 million in rewards value. Pacers can also donate rewards to Paceline’s charity partners, which include World Food Program USA, Black Lives Matter, Action for Healthy Kids, ASPCA and the Pat Tillman Foundation. 

Additionally, Mark McCombe, investor and Senior Managing Director of BlackRock, will join the board, bringing more than 20 years of international finance experience to help guide Paceline. 

“It’s incredibly exciting to see such a creative and novel approach that links health and wellness with tangible financial and other rewards” said Mark McCombe. “I have watched this team from their earliest days, and truly believe we will change the way people will think about health and well-being.”

Current Paceline members will be first in line to sign up for the rewards credit card. Others are able to sign up for the waitlist here: https://paceline.fit/card/. For more information about Paceline, visit https://paceline.fit/ 

About Paceline

Paceline is the first retail health and wellness platform that incentivizes consumers to live a healthy lifestyle. Paceline’s mission is to bring the worlds of physical and financial rewards together by incentivizing people to be active with curated offerings from health and wellness brands that yield healthier people and more valuable customers to partners of all kinds. Consumers earn health and wellness rewards for 150 minutes of elevated heart rate a week. Current investors include Acrew Capital, Mubadala Capital, Montage Ventures, Propel Venture Partners, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, GreatPoint Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Lux Capital, MS&AD Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, NextView Ventures, and angels including Mark McCombe, Senior Managing Director at BlackRock, in his personal capacity.


Why financial health matters

You workout 5 times a week (and hit your Paceline streak religiously), eat healthily, get 8 hours of sleep a night, and are always hydrated – but what are you doing about your financial health? We’re more than happy to share workout and nutrition information but money and finances are often something kept private. The thing is, financial health is just as important as your mental and physical health. So important in fact, that we’ve decided to put together our own little “Financial Health 101” course. It costs nothing (who needs more student debt?), we don’t take attendance, and you get an A when you start to make smart financial decisions! Ready to enroll? Great, please take your seats.

What is financial health?
Unfortunately, doing a few sets of “debt curls” can’t pay off your credit card, and as far as we know “hot yoga savings accounts” don’t exist (yet?). For simplicity’s sake, you can think of financial health as how much you spend, how much you save, how much you’ve borrowed, and how you’re planning for the future. Different points of life will require different levels of focus in any one category but if you’re happy with all 4 of these buckets, chances are your financial health is pretty good. Let’s dig in a little more on each of these areas of focus.

How much you spend
This is about as straightforward as it sounds – how much money are you spending? When you calculate your rent or mortgage, car payment, food and groceries, utilities, and discretionary spending, what are you putting out each month? These days, spending money is entirely too easy. Between subscription services for seemingly everything and the simplicity of mobile phone payments, it can be shockingly easy to spend far more than you realize. Keeping tabs on what you’re putting out is just as important as knowing what you’re bringing in.

How much you save
Look, we get it, saving money is hard. Life is expensive and there’s a lot of cool stuff out there to buy (a lot of it is cheaper when you hit your streaks on Paceline, though 😎). You’ve no doubt heard you should have enough in savings to sustain you for 3 months in the event of an unforeseen emergency. It can seem impossible to imagine a number like that all of the sudden occupying your savings account but, and we know you’ve heard this before, even a little bit each day can go a long way at the end of the year.

via GIPHY

How much you borrow
This is just another way to think of debt. Whether it’s student debt, a mortgage, credit card bills, or hospital bills, nearly everyone owes somebody some money. The good news is that not all debt is bad (some of it is even smart to have) but it’s typically good practice to carry as little debt as possible. In addition to having less stress with less debt, creditors reward you with a higher credit score when they see you’re able to consistently pay off debt sums.

How you plan
We know you’re a healthy and fit superstar but everyone wants to retire at some point. Planning for the future requires, well, planning! Typically this comes in the form of a 401K at your job or an IRA account you put money into consistently. There are various retirement plan options with the main advantage being what you put into them won’t be taxed and not getting taxed on savings = good.

via GIPHY

So that’ll do it for the first lesson, class. We’ll dig into each of these subjects in more depth later in the semester so be sure not to miss any future lectures. While a lot of this can seem daunting it’s important to remember just talking about these things is a great first step towards a more stable financial future. We’ll see you next week and don’t forget to read the syllabus!